You’ve seen the rivalries. You’ve witnessed the blood, sweat, and tears. You’ve celebrated the champions. But what does it really take to win MTV’s The Challenge? And what happens after the cameras stop rolling?
Since 1998, MTV’s The Challenge has tested competitors’ physical, mental, and emotional endurance. Some go on to become Challenge legends, going down in history as players who changed the game forever. But for each champion, there are dozens more who try and fail (over and over again) to earn the title.
In her time covering the show, pop culture journalist and Challenge superfan Sydney Bucksbaum has gotten to know many of the champs, gaining an insider’s knowledge of what goes into making a winning strategy—and how difficult it is to actually pull it off. Here, she profiles twenty-one of the most popular, successful, and infamous champions and reveals not only how they won The Challenge but also how they applied the skills they learned from the experience to their personal lives and careers.
From seven-time winner Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio, Challenge “Godfather” Mark Long, OG champ Veronica Portillo, elimination beast Emily Schromm to most-improved competitors Cara Maria Sorbello and Chris “C.T.” Tamburello, the best in the game look back at their decades of hard work, including the euphoric highs, devastating lows, and everything in between.
Eye-opening and inspiring, How to Win at The Challenge and Life is the must-have book for any and all fans looking to level up their own lives—and learn never-before-heard stories from the people who have dominated the show in every way.
Sydney Bucksbaum is a writer at Entertainment Weekly covering all things pop culture and the cohost of SiriusXM’s Superhero Insider. Follow her on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum.